5 Yoga Poses To Improve Your Concentration3 March 2020
Focusing the mind is no easy feat. Your brain makes an estimated 32,000 decisions per day. According to research by Cornell University 226.7 of those decision are just about food.
Is it any wonder that we struggle to switch off? Or gaze at Instagram feeds littered with #foodporn. With the world literally beneath our finger tips, we are only ever one tap away from our next work email.
Developing a regular yoga practice will benefit your body far beyond a toned tum. In class, you are encouraged to practice sensory awareness in each pose to teach you to focus your mind. Taking slow, deep, conscious breaths, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the fight or flight state of your sympathetic system. Incorporating balancing poses into your practice will train the brain to ‘hone in’ and focus on a single point.
While it is normal to struggle with concentration, momentarily, prolonged periods could be a result of stress, or anxiety. If you suffer from regular lapses in your concentration it can indicate a wider health or dietary problem. As a result, yoga is one of the only physical practices that emphasizes the need for a strong body/mind connection off the mat. Most importantly, integrating mindfulness and sensory awareness into your everyday actions will greatly improve your concentration.
Read below for our top 5 Yoga poses to improve your concentration.
Tadasana (Mountain pose)
Invites steadiness into the body, mind and the breath, by focusing the gaze on a ‘drishti’ (focal) point. Press (root) firmly through the feet, draw the pubic bone towards the core of the belly, lengthen the spine and extend through the crown. Find a focal point in the distance and rest here, noticing the flow of energy.
Balasana (Childs Pose)
Rest the heart on top of the thighs and guide the forehead towards the earth, simultaneously resting the hips on the heels. Broaden through the back, softening the arms, with your palms facing towards the sky. Observe the flow of your breath through your body.
Garudasana (Eagle pose)
Sit down into the buttocks, tuck the tailbone and extend the spine upwards. Then deeply bend in the supporting leg to catch the foot behind the calf. Tuck the chin towards the throat and keep the back of the neck long.
Nadi Shodona (Alternate nostril breathing)
Sit in a comfortable position. With the left hand, touch the left thumb to your index finger in a chin mudra, resting the back of the hand on your knee. Touch the tip of your right thumb to the right nostril, bring the tip of the right ring finger to left nostril, place the index and middle finger at the centre of the eyebrows. Press the right thumb into the nostril and inhale from the left. Closing the left nostril, hold the breath for one count, exhale out of the right nostril. Repeat, starting the inhalation from the right side.
Savasana (Corpse pose)
Lengthen the lower back, flatten the sacrum towards the floor and extend through the crown. Push the heels away and relax the legs, flopping the feet out to either side. Allow the body to soften into the earth to deepen your relaxation. Let go, releasing to what is.